Tigers Take To the Court Against N. Florida

The Tiger men basketball team is back in action Saturday afternoon as part of the Cancun Challenge

The #15 Missouri Tigers (1-0) continue play in the Cancun Challenge on Saturday afternoon (3:00 P.M., MSN), when they host the North Florida Ospreys (1-2). Next week, the Cancun Challenge moves to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, for two more games, to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 23-24. Missouri is coming off of a too close for comfort 66-61 win over Western Illinois, in the opening round of the Challenge. North Florida comes into Columbia from Laramie, where the Ospreys picked up a 76-60 victory over the Wyoming Cowboys.

In the first round Challenge win over Wyoming, North Florida sophomore Andy Diaz, scored a career-high 23 points, and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Ospreys. Sophomore Parker Smith and freshman Charles McRoy each scored 13 points in the win. In addition, UNF outrebounded a taller Cowboy squad 39-32, and prevailed in the turnover battle 16-8.

The 6'7" Diaz is averaging over 16 points/game, and the Ospreys are getting 11 points/game from the 6'3" Parker, who has been coming off of the bench. As the Ospreys tallest player, the rugged Diaz is also UNF's leading rebounder. North Florida has been playing 11 people, and have played a very tough early schedule, losing on the road at Florida State and at Pittsburgh, before getting it done Thursday night at Wyoming.

For Missouri, four players each scored 9 points in Game 1, including junior F Laurence Bowers, who also leads the team with 10 rebounds. The issue for Missouri is on the defensive end, where the Tigers are going to have to improve markedly, if they're going to achieve their goals this season.

Junior C Steve Moore played impressively against Western Illinois, and appears to be ready to take on a more prominent role for the Tigers. There's no better time for Missouri to cultivate their inside game than against the somewhat smaller Ospreys.

Mizzou Tiger Starters (1-0) - From the previous game

Pos. No. Name HT WT YR P/G R/G A/G S/G Hometown

F 21 Laurence Bowers 6-8 210 Jr. 9.0 10.0 2.0 1.0 Memphis, Tenn.

F 23 Justin Safford 6-9 230 Sr. 7.0 3.0 0.0 0.0 Bloomington, Ill.

G 24 Kim English 6-6 200 Jr. 8.0 6.0 1.0 3.0 Baltimore, Md.

G 12 Marcus Denmon 6-3 185 Jr. 9.0 3.0 1.0 0.0 Kansas City, Mo.

G 11 Michael Dixon 6-1 180 So. 5.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 Kansas City, Mo.

North Florida Ospreys Starters (1-2) - From the previous game

Pos. No. Name HT WT YR P/G R/G A/G S/G Hometown

F 21 Andres Diaz 6-7 235 So. 16.3 7.3 0.0 1.6 Miami, Fla.

F 22 Matt Sauey 6-7 205 Jr. 3.7 2.0 0.3 0.3 Ocala, Fla.

G 01 Brad Haugabrook 6-0 185 Sr. 5.0 3.3 3.0 0.6 Newark, N.J.

G 14 Jimmy Williams 6-4 215 Jr. 0.7 2.7 1.6 0.3 East Dublin, Ga.

G 15 Jerron Granberry 6-4 215 So. 8.0 3.3 2.0 1.3 Miami, Fla.

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